Guest  Speaker: Deborah Love Bradshaw

Deborah Bradshaw is a professional speaker, consultant, author and educator who helps people preserve their legacy by telling their story.  She has written a number of books including children’s books and has been a ghost writer and memoir author.  Her love of storytelling and history prompted her to create a business called Keep Your History Alive.  Deborah believes that everyone has a story worth telling and a life history worth preserving.

   Deborah’s formal training is in Education, Psychology, Business Management and Marketing, Body Language and Acting Techniques.  She has over 25 years’ experience as a speaker and presenter at national conventions, mid-level training seminars and strategic small groups.  In addition, she has developed and facilitated classes coaching business professionals in the use of acting techniques in order to help them feel more comfortable speaking in public and also on body language to develop more effective communication.

   Deborah lived in Southeast Asia as a child and young adult.  Her experiences there have given her insight into cross-cultural communication.  She uses these experiences and positive body language techniques to teach people how to understand the cues they are receiving.  Through these methods, participants also learn to practice the science of body language to influence their own brain chemistry in order to create a more positive attitude and accomplish personal goals.  In addition, she has presented to local and national audiences on topics ranging from Improving Education, Disability Issues, and Better Communication to other motivational topics.

Steve Alexander

Steve Alexander is a retired attorney living in Fayetteville, Arkansas, since 2006 when he moved from San Diego.  In contrast to the hectic pace of his life before Fayetteville, when he had only two speeds, … all ahead flank – 110% on the reactor, or all stop … Steve now finds himself cruising comfortably into retirement at all ahead two-thirds. 

In a prior lifetime, he was a computer systems analyst/programmer.  He has kept his hand in and now uses his computer knowledge in aid of research into his varied and colorful ancestors.  He designed, built, maintains, and is the webmaster for the Northwest Arkansas Family History Conference site.  He also researched and wrote three compositions for the Ancestors section of that site:  “Gone But Not Forgotten,” “The Eleven Year Old Union Soldier,” and “Saints And Strangers.”

Jennifer Andrasko

Jennifer Andrasko is celebrating six years of marriage with her husband Kyle this spring, and they just welcomed a second son into their family last September.  Jennifer graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2015 with a BA in Modern Dance and Choreography, and while there she spent a couple of semesters furthering another passion: videography.  She enjoys this hobby and has filmed a few weddings, dance for film, and music videos, and she loves putting together videos for her family to enjoy.


Gary and Nancy Blamires

Recently returned from Salt Lake City, where they served an 18 month-long mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Family History Library, Gary and Nancy Blamires are looking forward to sharing some of what they have learned. In Salt Lake City they were able to learn more about family history research and they specialized as digital imaging quality analysts, reviewing document images from around the world. They have lived in Broken Arrow for 42 years during which time they have raised 6 children and they are presently enjoying 17 grandchildren.

Gary’s mother was busy in family history for many years and Gary thought she had gone as far back as they could go. He became active in research five years ago,  but got really excited during FamilySearch training when he discovered that he could also add siblings of his direct line to his family tree. Gary has added over 200 new family members to his tree in the last two years. He is currently searching for his great-grandparents’ siblings and will work on the great-greats after that. Nancy’s family has been working extensively on both sides of her family and she is discovering new people in her family tree as well. The Blamires really enjoy helping others begin and expand their search for ancestors.

Juli Bulleigh

A native of Tulsa, Juli Bulleigh is a retired accountant and mother of a large family.  She began family history research in 1970, when it was all done by in-person research or by correspondence, and has continued to learn as new tools and resources have become available. She was previously a librarian in the local Family History Center for 25 years, and is currently the center director.  She researched records of many localities, but her most extensive experience is in Pennsylvania, Quebec, New England and Midwestern States.  She also has training in paleography … reading old handwriting … that has proved useful in her research.

Marcia Connors

A professional genealogist, Marcia Connors has been doing genealogy for over 30 years.  She is a past president of the Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society and has been state chairman for the Tennessee Lineage Research Committee in the D.A.R.  She is a member of the Mayflower Society, Colonial Dames, the D.A.R. and Kansas First Families.  She has attended various National and State Genealogical Conferences and has taught classes for the Chattanooga Genealogical Conference, miscellaneous conventions and local genealogical societies.  She has a BA in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.  Her genealogical research experience is concentrated in the southern states, and she frequently travels to Salt Lake City to do research there.  She has two cats but has yet to research their bloodlines.

Cathleen Hall

Cathy has been involved in family history on and off for about 25 years. She has served many years in the Tulsa Family History Center, where she enjoys working with other dedicated volunteers to help others find their family stories.

She has given presentations to the Tulsa Genealogy Society, the Muskogee Genealogy Society, and at conferences in Arkansas and Tulsa.

André Head

Andre’ Head brings over thirty years of managerial experience to his quest for community preservation and restoration, historical confirmation, and family research. With his professional and avocational interests overlapping, Mr. Head served the State of Washington as a Federal Marshal, was a Safety Manager with Experience Music Project and Chateau Ste Michelle, and with his beloved bomb-sniffing canine Misha, served as a Certified Explosives Detection Officer in Seattle, Washington. While in Oklahoma, Andre’ taught Health and Safety courses at Central State University, now UCO, devoted attention to his first career in Fire Safety, serving as Fire Chief of Forest Park, and as Edmond’s first African American firefighter, as Edmond’s first Black Major of Fire Prevention, was earlier appointed as an Arson Investigator, and served earlier as a Life Safety Instructor. During the same period, Head became an avid genealogist, devoting years of research to family heritage. Resultantly, Andre’ collected numerous anecdotes, researched years of records and discovered previously uncovered and authentic data on six-plus generations of his own family! As Founder and CEO of THE COLTRANE GROUP, HISTORY IN PROGRESS, an organization committed to preserving the rich heritage and deep history of Black Towns, Head discovered the alarmingly disappearing number and often disappointing condition of many of Oklahoma’s Black Towns. Currently numbering only thirteen, Oklahoma’s Historic Black Towns became the primary focus of THE COLTRANE GROUP and their Board.

Heavily involved in the revitalization efforts of Boley and her renewal efforts, The Group recently completed an Assessment of the Boley Public Library for the National Park Service, and a museum exhibit initially shown for six months at the Oklahoma History Center, “Colored Memories”. This is a colorized depiction of black and white photos from the 1920’s and 30’s collected and colorized by Head that reflects the cultural and early entrepreneurial richness of Boley. Having been amazed by the ongoing discovery of entrepreneurial success and civic sophistication in our early All-Black townships, Andre’ became excited to share this awe-inspiring information with others. Mr. Head later produced the first in a series of documentaries about “The Crown Jewel’ (Boley) and her annual rodeo, both prominently featured on social media. Concerned about reviving knowledge of and interest in the treasures of the Historic Black Towns, The Coltrane Group subsequently developed The Historic Black Towns’ Tours, which five times per year conduct different chartered bus ‘tours w/meals’ guided by The Heads to these Towns, two or three sites per Tour. Head also created the Black Genealogy Research Group (BGRG) of Oklahoma, an organization dedicated to the discovery/research of people’s roots and heritage via official genealogical search. That group now proudly meets monthly at The Oklahoma History Center.

Having served on the Boards of the Washington State Association of Safety Engineers, Washington State Crime Stoppers, Woodinville Fire Safety Council, and on the Executive Board of The Evergreen Safety Council., Andre’ is a member of the American Association of Museums, the Oklahoma Historical Society, the National Fire Marshals Association, the International Association of Arson Investigators, and other professional organizations. Andre’ was recently featured professionally in an issue of the Safety Council’s ‘People in Safety’ magazine’, and is a proud member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church where he serves on its Black Heritage Committee and a Lead on St. John’s Security Team. A man of diverse talents, Andre’ designed and produced the entire run’s first leather labels for a popular Chateau Ste Michelle Winery product!

Happily married to his high school sweetheart, Jessilyn (also the Chief Operating Officer of The Coltrane Group), Andre’ and his wife are proud parents of five grown children and doting grandparents to seven beautiful grandbabies! Andre’ is eager to share with you the rich history and continued progress of The Historical All-Black Towns of Oklahoma.

Bonnie Hutchins

Originally from Rexburg, Idaho, Bonnie has degrees from Ricks College (BYU-Idaho) and Idaho State University. She has been doing genealogy and family history research since her teens. She is treasurer of the Indian Territory Genealogical & Historical Society located at Northeastern State University.

She is also a member of The Mayflower Society, the New England Genealogical Society, The Pilgrim Society, the Quaker Family History Society, and the Idaho State Historical Society.

Mina Cherry Jarman

Mina Cherry Jarman was born in Sunset, Weber County, Utah. Being interested in genealogy as a small child, she remembers sneaking into her grandmother’s upstairs bedrooms and searching for stories and old photographs.

In 1972 Mina took her first class in genealogy at Weber State College. She met and married her best friend in 1976, raised four boys, and continued to work on her family trees, dreaming of a time when she could become certified in genealogical research. Thirty years later she received her certificate in Family History Research from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Continuing her studies with a geographical emphasis in German research, she recently graduated with an Associate’s degree in Applied Sciences in Genealogy and Family History Research.

Charlotte Ker

Her love of family history began in 1998. Following her father’s death, Charlotte, her mother, and cousin Brenda, took to the roads, visiting her father’s people and the places from which they came. Results from DNA testing took her to Kentucky and Texas, and back to Oklahoma in search of her ancestors. Through the DNA analysis she discovered two generations of family who had left no paper trail.

Taking a break from BYU-Idaho, she is serving a mission with FamilySearch. Her responsibilities include contacting repositories in Oklahoma, offering assistance in digitizing records, inventorying records of genealogical value, and coordinating potential projects and volunteers.

Barbara Kroll

A long-time volunteer, Barbara is a familiar face at the Tulsa Family History Center where she is an assistant director and the Native American research expert. She has been engaged in family history research for over 30 years.

According to Barbara, an analysis of her DNA revealed that she is 18% Native American.  Her specific area of expertise is in Cherokee research and working with the Dawes rolls.  Her own Cherokee lineage traces to the first Chief on record, Amatoya Moytoy, known as the Little Emperor by the English.  Barbara says, “The things I have learned about my Cherokee ancestors have been a great blessing in my life.”

Brandy VanTassell

Brandy has been fascinated by family history since she was a young girl.  She loves learning the stories of those that came before us.  Each of those names is a real person with real experiences that have the potential to inspire us. Brandy is one of the valuable staff members in the Family History Center.